Two car bombs struck Shiite pilgrims today in an Iraqi holy city, killing at least 18 people as crowds massed for religious rituals marking the end of a 40-day mourning period for the Islamic sect's most beloved saint. The blasts in Karbala were the latest in nearly a week of attacks that have killed at least 159 people.
The first attack occurred about 7am in a parking lot near busloads of pilgrims, killing six pilgrims and wounding 34; a second bomb was discovered nearby and dismantled before it could explode, police said. Hours later, another bomb struck pilgrims on the southern edge of the city, killing at least 12 and wounding 21. Also today, two bombs in Baghdad killed an Iraqi Army intelligence officer and his driver and wounded eight bystanders in separate strikes, police said. (Read more Iraq stories.)